- Letter to Parents
- Why Use Technology?
- Transformative Learning Using Technology
- Information Literacy
- Media Literacy
- Out of School Workshop Leaders
At Sha Tin Junior School we believe in using technology in a transformative way: learning new content or in new ways. As part of Computer Science Education Week (4th-8th December) we are going to offer students a range of transformative workshops run by our teachers, students and experts in Hong Kong.
This will be our 4th year holding Computer Science Education week (formerly the Hour of Code). Feedback from students, teachers and parents has been positive and for that reason we have maintained a similar format to last year. This is an educational coding event. The aim is to promote computer science and give students, parents and teachers new opportunities to extend their coding skills and knowledge. At SJS we are broadening the scope of the event to include all technology, not just coding in recognition that technology can be a valuable learning tool.
Students will get to inquire into technology with their class teachers. There are also special events being run at lunchtimes, for example:
- House Coding challenge
- Year 6 students will be mentoring younger students in robotics and 3D digital design
- Class teachers are running many different lunchtime workshops
- Techbob are running a workshop with a class from Year 2 and 5
- BSD Academy (Build Something Different) are running workshops with some Years 3,5 and 6 classes
- Sha Tin College DT Department are also taking part
In this communication we outline why we use technology at SJS, some examples of how technology is used, as well as giving a bit more information about our workshop leaders.
If you would like to play and extend your understanding of coding then https://csedweek.org/learn is a recommended website for both students and parents.
It promises to be an exciting penultimate week of term and a valuable learning experience for all.
Link to watch: Year 5 students explaining Computer Science Education Week
Why use technology?
As a tool
The SAMR Model
Technology as a tool
At SJS we view technology as a tool to be able to access other areas of the curriculum. Whenever possible we try to enhance other areas, such as maths or inquiry learning, with technology. Learning technology is not a standalone subject, it is embedded across the curriculum.
Transformative use of technology
We want to create transformative learning experiences for our students. We use the SAMR model (see below) to help us focus on using technology to help students learn in new ways, which they wouldn’t have previously been able to without technology. We also ask ourselves, if it’s not transformative then is it necessary to use technology?
We want our students to engage with their environment and feel empowered to create change or take action. It may be the physical environment or the systems around them. A way of doing this is with Makers Ed. In reality, Makers Ed doesn’t have to involve any technology. However, at SJS we interpret Makers Ed to be hands on and not only screenbased.
Transformative learning using technology
Sha Tin College are supportive in providing training opportunities for our teachers and students. Here students are sharing their robot, which they have created during CAS week.
Year 6 became designers during their HWEO. They used the elements of design to create a resource that their “client” (their Year 3 buddy) will be able to use in a coming Unit of Inquiry about forces. The Year 6 students interviewed the buddies, learnt about 3D design in Tinkercad and then put all this learning together (synthesis) to create a model for their buddy that was functional and aesthetically pleasing. Motivation was high to succeed as they were making for a genuine purpose.
Coding has grown in importance during the last 5 years. Some thinkers believe that coding will become a key skill in the future. At Shatin Junior School, students have been developing their aptitude for computational thinking in lessons starting in Year 1. Research is showing that students gain more when the device that they are programming is tangible – they can see, feel and hear the device – and it’s no longer just a sprite on the screen. As a school we are mindful of screentime and we try to minimise it whenever possible.
With this in mind, students in Year 5 have been putting their creative and collaborative skills into practice with some simple robotics. As part of WWA students were learning about metacognition. Using the robotics, they were programming the CPU how to behave (output) when it sensed (input) that it had to do something. Students were “teaching” the CPU how to behave just as we teach each other and ourselves how to behave. Students applied some learning about measurement to make cardboard structures, combined that with the robotics and made some pretty cool games.
At SJS we are all learners and as technology is developing at such a fast pace, we are constantly refining our practices. Here are the Year 4 team learning about a new resource ready for the coming unit WWAIP&T
Technology enables students to create circuits that demonstrate how energy can be converted. They were the creators instead of using what somebody else had already made.
As part of a Unit of Inquiry about resources students asked themselves, How can we reuse resources? Students then created structures using recycled cardboard. The challenge was: The structure must be portable and free standing. Students use Makedo tools and cardboard to create their structures. This gave the students an opportunity to practise estimating, comparing and measuring standard units of measurement.
Following that, students inquired into adding simple electronics to upcycle their structure. How can we upcycle our structure? Their challenge: Add to the structure something that will conserve the world’s resources. The students asked themselves, What is our responsibility when using resources?
Technology enabled students to invent and create simple circuits to save electricity. It gave them first hand experience of creating a solution to a real-life problem.
As part of the students’ Media Literacy learning they have been telling stories using an iPad app called Puppet Pals HD. Students have been exploring the visual code, for example, the use of colour and the posture of characters gives the reader clues about the characters’ personalities. In the photos you can see students exploring camera angles and different poses. Students then planned stories which they recorded in Puppets Pals HD and then shared.
Technology made presenting their ideas easier.
Signing into a Chromebook can be a lengthy process when you are only just learning to recognise your letters and sounds. This year we have introduced Clever QR Code sign in. Signing in is no longer a barrier to learning and all students can do it quickly and independently.
Y5 Info Lit
Y4 Info Lit
In Information Literacy the Year 5 students have been using a learning platform called buncee to create and present their learning for the unit of inquiry How the World Works. They began by synthesising their learning about volcanoes. After this they used the thinking routine ‘sentence, phrase, word’ to refine their thinking. Finally, they used buncee to present their learning. They incorporated a range of features from buncee including text, audio, animations and videos in order to make engaging presentations. The completed buncees were uploaded onto padlet and then shared via seesaw. Here is an example of the completed learning – link.
In Information Literacy the Year 4 students used an app called flipgrid in their unit of inquiry (Who We Are) to share their views about the actions they would hope to see in their ideal school. First they recorded their videos. Then they watched each other’s videos and analysed them to find which the most popular actions were. Here is an example of the completed learning – link.
We have launched a Sha Tin Junior School Facebook page. Our student reporters will be taking snapshots of school and year group events. This gives them a real context to practise their digital citizenship learning and digital literacy skills. Ms Sharvell has been coaching the students on photography techniques and skills and how to apply these practically to capture the feel of events. Their photographs will be posted on our page by our Communications Officer, Alex Chu. We welcome likes and positive comments from our school community. If you’d like to see what our reporters have been doing, have look on Facebook.
Teachers and students have been sharing snapshots of learning in realtime with parents and other teachers. Students are practicing curating an online presence and engaging their audience, which is you the parents.
Technology gives students the means to communicate their learning accurately.
Out of School Workshop Leaders
Richard Atkinson – STC Design teacher
Richard Atkinson will be using CAD (computer animated design software) to create models in a different of materials. Connection – The Year 6s have all learnt the basics of Tinkercad in their HWEO unit and this workshop gives them an opportunity to see a different use of 3D digital design.
BSD stands for Build Something Different. We are an international team of social entrepreneurs, technologists and educators dedicated to empowering the kids of today with the tools for tomorrow. We partner with schools to develop curated technology curriculum to enhance existing lesson plans in all core content areas, and provide teachers direct instruction on the use and integration of technology through our LaunchBox platform into their classrooms.
Whatever the context, a broad cross curricular presence of technology means that all students will begin to think computationally and of design in the contexts that most connect with their interests, it will be become part of their everyday experience of work both individually and in teams, and a natural outlet for creative communication and the development of their ideas.
Our Mission Statement:
We are on a mission to make the learning and understanding of code and design accessible and at the forefront of education globally.
Techbob Academy is the largest STEAM education network in Hong Kong, offering courses to students aged 3 – 18 in 18 locations as well as in-school workshops. Our mission is to Enlighten, Engage, and Empower children and youth to master and apply STEAM and innovate. We are not only teaching students technical skills and knowledge but also shaping their mind to utilize new technology and pursue innovation to embrace the opportunities ahead driven by the 4th industrial revolution.
We are pleased to participate in the Computer Science Education Week by offering two in-school trial workshops with the details below:
Date: 4 DEC 2017 (11 am – 12 noon)
For younger students aged 5-8
Information technology is important to our daily life nowadays. This workshop will let beginners and younger students to have the first taste of coding by engaging them with a funny game and animation coding platform.
Experience Apps Coding
Date: 4 DEC 2017 (1 pm – 2 pm)
For older students aged 9-11
Apps become very common in various devices nowadays. They help people to live in a more convenient and enjoyable way. This workshop will let students to create their own mobile app with a user-friendly visual coding platform.